Buillding a custom home in the Poconos with your spoucse can be one of the best bonding experiences ever. Of course, that assumes you actually go through the experience with your spouse. If the two of you aren’t on the same page, you can end up with very different agendas and find that what you thought was going to be a “building-and-bonding” experience is turning into a source of stress.
The good news is that building a custom home doesn’t have to cause friction between you. Here are a few things that will make the process more enjoyable and end up delivering a home you both love.
- Get Your Expectations Out on the Table: Forgive me for stating the obvious, but men and women often look at things differently. And while that’s often a really good thing, it’s complicated by the fact that they also tend to communicate differently. Before you get too wrapped up in specific floor plans or home styles, it’s good to talk about expectations when it comes to budgets, location and what you actually expect from your new home. What you expect from your home will definitely shape the design of your house.
- Talk About What’s Really Important: Once again, it can be easy to assume that you and your spouse agree about critical features in your new home. It’s much smarter, however, to identify what’s important. What do you really want from your kitchen? What features or design elements will make that happen? How important is your family room? How do you anticipate it being used? If one of you plans to read and the other intends to watch TV there, you’ll probably have different ideas on how the room should be set up.
- Identify the Non-negotiable Items: There will probably be certain elements in your new home you’re not willing to compromise on. Make sure both of you know what those elements or characteristics are up front. It’s much easier (and much less expensive) to change a floor plan than it is to make changes to a partially constructed home.
- Dream a Bit Together: Talk about some of the things you’d like to include in your home “if you could afford it.” For one thing, that’s kind of a fun exercise and may give you a bit of new insight into your partner. But it can also be helpful when you talk to your builder. There are times when an experienced builder can come up with a creative solution that costs less than you thought it would. And keep in mind that adding features or options up front almost always costs less than adding those same features after your home is completed.
- Talk About Money: It’s absolutely essential to come up with a realistic budget. If you budget too high (more house than you can really afford), you can end up with financial stress that can affect your relationship. If you budget too low (and cut out features that are really important to you in order to hit an artificially low budget), you won’t end up with the dream house you really want. You may need to take a few passes at setting your budget and thinking about what’s realistic for you. By the way, here’s a helpful post about where it makes sense to spend money on a custom home.
Building a new custom home in the Poconos with your spouse ought to be fun, challenging and exciting. Spend a little bit of time and effort up front to make sure you’re on the same page. It will make the whole process a lot more enjoyable!